After a bad experience with a CPA last year, I decided to go back to Turbo Tax for my federal tax returns for 2007. I used Turbo Tax once before (in 2005) and liked it, but had to go to a CPA for 2006 because of some complications that cropped up during the tax year. I wasn’t all that impressed with the service I received from the CPA (or with the $350+ price tag), so opting for Turbo Tax again was really a no-brainer.
This time around, I decided to use the online version at www.turbotax.intuit.com instead of purchasing and installing the software, and I’m happy to say that it performed beautifully.
Because I’m self-employed, I had to purchase the Home & Business edition, which is significantly more expensive than the Deluxe version that most people with straightforward returns can use. I paid $74.95 + Illinois state sales tax of $4.68 for a total of $79.63. The Deluxe version goes for a mere $29.95, but what can I do. I still made out a lot better than I would have with the same CPA.
Anyway, Turbo Tax Online works in much the same way as the traditional CD-ROM software would, except that you enter all your data online at the secure Turbo Tax site. I know a lot of people might be worried about putting that kind of sensitive information on a third-party website because of concerns about identity theft, but I’m not. Yes, identity theft is a major problem these days, but I feel confident about Turbo Tax being able to protect my info. After all, their business pretty much depends on this, don’t you think?
As I said, the online version is just as easy to use as the traditional version. Turbo Tax walks you step-by-step through whatever tax forms you need to fill out, points you to frequently asked questions if you get stuck, and of course does all the math for you so you know it’s completely accurate (as long as you’re entering correct info to begin with). I also love how the software keeps track of the amount of your rebate or tax bill in “real time”. In other words, with every applicable deduction you enter, the amount changes so you can see exactly how certain things impact your taxes.
You obviously don’t have to complete your taxes all in one sitting either. Turbo Tax Online saves your return and remembers where you were so you can pick up from the same spot the next time you sign in. When you do finish, you can file electronically or print everything right from the Turbo Tax site if you prefer to mail in your return. In addition, you can download and save a copy of your return in a pdf file or simply access it from the Turbo Tax site whenever you want to check it again.
All in all, I had a fantastic experience with Turbo Tax Online. This product is definitely deserving of its title as the best tax return software around, and I highly recommend it!